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  1. According to "people with knowledge of his thinking," Bloomberg is reporting that, should Stephen Elop become Microsoft's next CEO, he would consider shutting down or selling parts of the company to "sharpen its focus." The two divisions mentioned specifically are Xbox and Bing. The "kill Bing" and "kill Xbox" memes have become popular among certain kinds of analysts. Though obfuscated by Microsoft's new reporting structure, both Bing and Xbox share one feature: they're not great money makers. It's important to be a little wary of this kind of anonymous, unsourced commentary. It may not be accurate, and it may be agenda-driven. This kind of "thinking" appeals greatly to short-term investors who are more interested in boosting the next quarter's numbers than the long-term health of the company. The anonymous leak could, therefore, tend to make Elop seem more appealing to Wall Street. Conversely, the leak shows a lack of strategic thinking and somewhat undermines the Xbox One, a product that launches in a couple of weeks. That's not likely to inspire confidence in a CEO candidate. Microsoft's head of corporate communications responded to Bloomberg in typically robust fashion, saying "We appreciate Bloomberg's foray into fiction and look forward to future episodes." View the full article
  2. Decrease in Critical Issues and Bulletins As far as individual issues, Critical-class CVEs accounted for less than a third of the issues we addressed in bulletin releases for the first time since we began our monthly bulletin-release cadence in 2004. And in absolute numbers, Critical-class CVEs are at their lowest levels since 2005. The fact that we're seeing lower percentages of Critical issues and bulletins year-over-year demonstrates progress made by the product groups in creating more secure software. With this regularly scheduled monthly release, our bulletin count for 2011 is 99, with 13 released today. Of those, we determined 10 to be Important-class bulletins, with only three classified as Critical in severity. In 2011, Critical-class bulletins represented just 32 percent of all bulletins – the lowest percentage since we began our monthly bulletin-release cadence in 2004 and, again, the lowest absolute number since 2005. Interestingly, for the second half of the year the numbers are even lower, with under 20 percent of bulletins released in the last six months rated Critical in severity. View the full article
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